What to do with weather cancellations?

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by cptnkirk77, May 25, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. cptnkirk77
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    cptnkirk77 Silver Member

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    I just asked this question in the DFW is closed thread, but I thought I'd pose this here as well as I still consider myself a novice and maybe other newbies have a similar question...

    I was essentially stuck in ORD as my original ORD-DFW flight was cancelled on Sunday night, then re-routed to TPA from ORD on Monday morning. The TPA-DFW flight was cancelled, meaning overnight in TPA and then the Tuesady morning flight I was re-scheduled on was also cancelled when I got there Tuesday morning. I finally was able to get a flight from TPA to IAH on Continental as AA had no more flights going to DFW yesterday, and then from IAH to DFW.
    I eventually got back to DFW yesterday thankfully, but my question is this: Is there anything I could have done differently from the standpoint of getting back earlier?
    There were flights that left TPA to DFW on Monday, just not mine. Should I have demanded a place in the standby list as I presumably had a higher priority than other regular passengers scheduled that day? Especially as I had already had an overnight stay because of the first cancellation?

    I'm not asinine enough to think that AA owes me miles or anything because of this entire situation, however I do feel like it was a free for all when it came to who was getting onto planes that still left the gate, with no regard or priority for more distressed passengers based on original scheduled flight times (two days prior) and/or number of forced overnight stays...

    Am I off the mark here or does it seem like if I relied on AA to reschedule for me (which I did until I made them schedule me on another flight with Continental just to get home 3 days late) it would most likely end up as the most lengthy option with the best likelihood of yet another cancelation?

    Is this a scenario where I should be proactive the whole time and think of routings myself to suggest to the gate agents?
     
  2. cptnkirk77
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    cptnkirk77 Silver Member

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    Side note: Thankfully I have friends in Tampa I was able to stay with once I found out my TPA-DFW flight was cancelled, so it could have been worse and I could have been paying for a hotel for two nights out of pocket...
     
  3. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    Other than going "somewhere else" I don't know what you could have done differently. Some of us are lucky (or crazy) enough that if you're going into JFK/LGA you can always try EWR or even Philly and take the train, or even something crazy like DC and make your way home from there.

    If you have IROPS because of weather at DFW though, I don't know what else you could have done other than wait it out
     
  4. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Most carriers seem to give preference in rebooking IROPs to their own (or alliance) elites and those on expensive tickets. Sometimes a phone reservations agent or GA will be sympathetic and try hard to find something creative to get you to your destination, but waiting time or other hardship doesn't typically receive higher priority. In any event, be nice; this sometimes works and being rude/angry frequently is counterproductive.

    Many FFs will go to the lounge or phone their special elite phone line as soon as IROPs looks possible or likely. The airline may be willing to "protect" you by making a second reservation just in case things go wrong and the flight is cancelled or seriously delayed.

    Many feel that standing in line in the airport is the worst alternative but if you're not elite with the airline and don't have club access, you might have no choice. However, before doing that try to see if your carrier offers any automatic rebooking kiosks, which can be much faster, especially if they also print out whatever vouchers one might be entitled to, such as hotel rooms and meal coupons after a mechanical (not weather) delay.

    Another way to avoid waiting in the chaos and perhaps missing some seats as a result is to try to rebook on your laptop etc. through the airline's website. Here some carriers are farther ahead than others in implementing rebooking software that shows you different options and lets you take care of it yourself, needing only to print a boarding pass, send it to a iphone, or retrieve it at a kiosk.

    I wouldn't hang out all day in an airport trying standby on all possible flights without being told that I have a reasonable chance. My attitude usually is that if no one is going anywhere, I'd rather be comfortable in a hotel room. However, when things are really messed up, there can be lots of no shows and a seemingly hopeless standby number can get a seat.

    A lot depends on the circumstances of your trip. Do you have a free place to stay, for instance at home if you're just leaving on a trip? Do you really need to make the trip? When must you get to your destination? Can you postpone or cancel any guaranteed hotel reservations, etc.? Do you have trip insurance or other compensation for the costs incurred in IROPs?
     
  5. cptnkirk77
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    cptnkirk77 Silver Member

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    Good points. In this case I wasn't able to re-book on AA as it just said there was an error with my reservation, so I did have to wait in line. The phone lines also had about an hour wait as well, as I'm not an elite (yet ;). I was nice, which is probably why I'm at least home now and not still in the Tampa/Houston airport.
     
  6. catgirl
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    catgirl Gold Member

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    Glad you are home now, :). As soon as I know something is going awry, I call either the CO Plat desk or UA 1P line. I have found that UA is MUCH better at IROPS than CO is.
     

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